March 31, 2017
Our interdisciplinary team won the $10,000 first-place prize at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Research Paper Competition. The team was recognized for the Best Paper Presentation titled, From Sports to Science: Using Basketball Analytics to Broaden the Appeal of Math and Science Among Youth. Led by John Drazan, a Ph.D student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the co-authors include Ben Horne, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science; Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student Amy Loya; and Ron Eglash, professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. The work was done in collaboration with 4th Family Inc., an Albany-based grassroots nonprofit. In the winning paper, the team used a software application created by Horne that would allow students to create their own heat maps, which are graphical representations of a player's probability for scoring points. Each high school student in the study calculated their own heat map by shooting from different positions on the court, turning the gym into a DIY science lab.